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Researchers found a way to boost human hearing without hearing aids

Updated Jan 3rd, 2023 3:57PM EST
Young man with hearing loss
Image: Creative Cat Studio / Adobe

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A group of researchers recently published an article in the Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology looking into the ability to boost hearing in humans without having to rely on hearing aids. The study, which focused on improving hearing within noisy areas, presents a new training technique that you can use to help boost your listening ability.

The results of the study show that this technique used to boost hearing without hearing aids could be a great way to help older adults that struggle with minor hearing loss. And, because it involves practicing how the brain differentiates between the speed of sounds, it could also help us better understand how our brain reacts to those particular senses in real-time.

Understanding and noticing these subtle changes in sound is all part of the brain’s ability to process sound stimuli over time. This is called auditory temporal processing. And it doesn’t just affect how we understand the sound of speech. It also helps us make sense of the various sounds that we hear. And that’s why it is so important to boost hearing without hearing aids.

older woman with hearing lossImage source: Prostock-studio / Adobe

The researchers put 40 volunteers through rate discrimination training to see whether or not they could differentiate between the different sounds. During the training, they had to pick up on changes in frequency, pitch, and more. Compared to another 37 individuals who went through simpler training, the 40 participants saw a boost in their hearing ability over the second group.

This showed that training yourself and your brain in this way could make it possible to boost hearing without the need for hearing aids. That’s because your brain becomes better at differentiating between the sounds that you hear. That way, it can pick out the more important parts, allowing you to better understand things.

MIT scientists are also looking for ways to reverse hearing loss, and some have even been working to create invisible hearing aids that could boost human hearing, too.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.